12 December 2009

Save a Greyhound!

Dairyland racing track in Wisconsin will be closing down soon - meaning 100s of greyhounds will need homes and it made me want to help in some way. Since I can't have another dog...

Just in case someone out there stumbles across my blog and happens to be considering a dog, I recommend adopting a greyhound.

Ah, you might be thinking now.."but greyhounds must be so high-energy. I really have no way of dealing with an energetic dog." And you would be absolutely wrong. Greyhounds run 30 second races maybe twice a week. Just take a peek at my greyhound pictures! Does Gary look like a high energy dog? In actuality, greyhound are nicknamed "45 mile per hour couch potatoes," and that is the truth! Although a greyhound get get up to speed in 3 strides, most of them are more than happy to spend their retirement napping away on someone's couch (or dog bed if you prefer). Here's my experience with greyhounds...

I'm not sure when the idea of getting a greyhound entered my mind, but I believe it was sometime during college when I met a greyhound at a Meet and Greet at Petsmart. The kind lady informed me that greyhounds don't stink like other dogs, are very friendly, and can sleep up to 18 hours per day (and all night too). That sounds like a dog for me! So when I graduated college and before heading off to vet school, I put in my application at Greyhound Pets of America - Missouri. I told them I had no preference of color, sex, or age - I just wanted a dog that would be a good dog for a busy, apartment dwelling veterinary student. Luckily for me, Gary happen to be in the Arkansas town I was in. He had been picked up off the streets by animal control. GPA-MO contacted the original adoption agency he had been adopted out with, but they didn't know who his owners were so they decided to adopt him out to someone new. At the time I met him, he was still emaciated and looked a bit moth-eaten but was absolutely lovable. I adored him from the first time I met him (although I thought he was the ugliest "adoptable hound" on the website)

This is the picture GPAMO had posted to their website. Apparently he had just been woken up from a nap before the picture was taken! Of course, I met him in person before signing the adoption agreement.

This is our first meeting. It was love at first site! He is the softest greyhound you will ever pet. Within a couple of weeks, I had officially adopted Gary and we loaded in the car ("Gary get in the car, please") and went to stay with my folks until moving to MO for veterinary school.

At home, Gary became a well-loved member of our household instantly. Rusty, my parents' weeny dog followed him everywhere and tried to snuggle with him. It was adorable, and Gary put up with it like a trooper. We did have some bowel upset, but upon settling in Missouri we discovered a dog food that gives him solid poo 100% of the time (Natura - California Naturals Lamb and Rice).

Now, I'm married and have an additional dog (Ruby), and Gary is still a valuable member of our apartment. I'll be honest he has some problems...

*Thin skin* Greyhounds have thin skin so are prone to getting lots of cuts. Gary fell down the steps one day and banged himself up, but he just stood there and let me bandage him up without a single complaint. Gary didn't even mess with his bandage like most dogs do (that's probably a Gary-thing though and not a general greyhound trait).

*phobias* He gets a little nervous during thunderstorms and goes and lays down in the kitchen or bathroom...or pants by my face. Although I've heard greyhounds can have some odd phobias, only thunderstorms (and other startling noises) seem to phase Gary.

*Teeth*He has atrocious breath and yucky teeth. So if you get a greyhound...if you're not willing to brush his/her teeth everyday, you'll probably have to get your veterinarian to clean them once or twice a year. I admit I don't brush my dog's teeth every day.

*GI* One of Gary's other issues is diarrhea. During the first couple of months, we had multiple bouts of bloody diarrhea - not fun in a carpeted apartment! Luckily that's been easily managed with a mild food (lamb and rice) and regular schedule of walking and feeding.

*Cats* Gary is wonderful with cats. I've even seen a kitten paw his nose and then run off and he didn't care. However, other greyhounds can be more prey-driven. That's something that a good adoption agency will be able to tell you, and something you'll have to monitor. As a future veterinarian, a small-animal friendly dog was a must.

*tail* I'm not sure if this counts as a problem, but Gary wags his tail so hard it periodically hits a corner and bleeds for a bit. This is rather annoying, because I have to scrub blood off the walls... but I can get mad at a dog for wagging his tail! He also had "knocked" on the neighbors door with his tail a couple of times. "Oh sorry...that was just my dog's tail."

Honestly, I wouldn't trade Gary for the world. I'm so glad I got a greyhound, and I want another one so bad.

If you want to know more, or find an adoption agency near you..

Greyhound Pets of America has lots of information!

best wishes! Peace and Love!


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1 comment:

serendipity said...

hi there,
how's the troop?
luv this post and it's true greythounds make fantastic pet
joan and betty the greythound in Italy

we've had her for 4 years now